The State government has increased various benefits for ex-servicemen and their dependents given through the Sainik Welfare Department

Accordingly, Rs.10,000 will be paid as onetime assistance for medical treatment to persons aged above 60 years who do not get pension. As part of women’s empowerment, assistance ranging from Rs.10,000 to Rs.25,000 will be given to women for self-help ventures.

The assistance to inmates of leprosy and tuberculosis sanatoria and paraplegic centres has also been increased. Those undergoing organ transplants will get an assistance of Rs.1,000 a month for one year.

The income limit for bright student scholarships has been raised to Rs.2 lakh a year. The grant given for students appearing in competitive examinations for training has been increased to Rs.10,000.

A joint meeting of the Rajya Sainik Board and the Flag Day Fund, which met here with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in the chair on Tuesday, approved the budget of the board and the fund for 2013-14. The meeting recommended full travel concession for injured ex-servicemen and war widows on State transport buses and tax concession for buying agriculture machinery. This will come into effect from next year.

The meeting also decided to increase the grants and annuity for defence personal winning gallantry awards. The grant will be increased from Rs.1 lakh to Rs.25 lakh and annuity from Rs.25,000 to Rs.2.5 lakh.

The Chief Minister said the government adopted a liberal attitude in granting benefits to ex-servicemen and their position in Kerala was better than that in other States. He released a souvenir with an album of defence personnel who had died on the battlefront.